This post provides links to a number of thought-provoking articles I have read over the past few days that you may also find of interest.

• Doug Kass ( Four stages of market turning points, October 12, 2009.
Whether the stock market is topping out and the economy’s 2010 trajectory will disappoint is subject to debate, but what probably can’t be debated (and something that truly astonishes me) is the brief period of time in which we have moved from fear to greed.

• Mike Santoli (Barron’s): Leaving with the one who brought you, October 12, 2009.
Who, or what, is keeping you in the market? Assuming an investor has been participating in the equity rally that has now stretched toward a 60% gain in seven months and 20% year to date, what factors, voices and impulses are counseling staying put?

• Robert Shiller (The New York Times): A Bounce? Indeed. A Boom? Not Yet, October 10, 2009.
The sudden rise in home prices suggests that the psychology of the market has shifted substantially. But what should we expect in the months ahead? Not necessarily that we’re entering a new housing boom. To a large extent, where we’re heading depends on what home buyers are thinking.

• Roger Altman (Financial Times): How to avoid greenback grief, October 11, 2009.
America’s leaders should commit now and in detail to implement deficit reduction once the economy has strengthened. Vague promises will not work.

• Wolfgang Münchau (Financial Times): Making the case for a weaker dollar, October 11, 2009.
Imagine a world with a small current account deficit in the US, a somewhat larger deficit in the eurozone and a not too excessive Asian surplus. In the long run, such a world would require significant reform of the monetary system. But in the short term, a fall in the dollar would help.

• Paul Krugman (The New York Times): Misguided monetary mentalities, October 11, 2009.
One lesson from the Great Depression is that you should never underestimate the destructive power of bad ideas. And some of the bad ideas that helped cause the Depression have, alas, proved all too durable: in modified form, they continue to influence economic debate today.

• Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff (Conference Draft): Global imbalances and the financial crisis: products of common causes, October 2009.

• Dave Livingstone (BizXceleration): Facing the firestorm of re-regulation, October 2009.
The Finance Industry is facing a firestorm of its own making and refusing to recognize or address it. As a result society is moving actively, and increasingly strongly, to deal with the necessary corrections.

• Lloyd Blankfein (Financial Times): To avoid crises, we need more transparency, October 12, 2009.
The importance of fair value accounting to responsible systemic risk management is hard to overstate.

• The bigger picture, October 12, 2009.
This year’s Nobel prize has rewarded the use of economics to answer wider questions.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, click here to subscribe to updates to Investment Postcards from Cape Town by e-mail.